2016-09-30 training log

Best part? The cooler weather — had to wear a sweatshirt on my walk to the gym.ūüôā

All in all, going well. Pressing was fine. My “dizzy” issues of course are worse when I’m defatting and running low carb. Today when I did my setup, I got everything tensed up, deep breaths, all helps me get started — but then I totally relaxed and let things fade. As soon as things felt normal, I quickly tensed up and unracked. No rushing, but just trying to “get dizzy” when I know it’s safe and controllable. That helped. Going to have to continue exploring that approach.

But pressing was fine. Goal was 5 reps (again, trying really pare back), but things felt so good I went for a 6th.

I am happy with the way I’m doing pulldowns down. I read something the other day that put it in perspective — when you just start doing pull-ups, if you’re cold well… would you ever do a 5RM cold? Because that’s what you’re doing! No wonder I was hurting. So this warm-up/work-up has really helped. Plus the added volume for sure is good for me.

I’m still dialing in where my weights and reps should be on this “massing” approach, but it’s all going well and about as expected.

Things are progressing, both in the gym and in terms of my defluffing. A little slower, of course, but so far so good. Still early.

My own massing template, based upon 5/3/1 SST and some Paul Carter principles

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 70 x 5 (warmup sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 85 x 5
    • 100 x 3
    • 120 x 3 (work sets superset with pulldowns)
    • 135 x 3
    • 155 x 6
  • Close-Grip Bench Press
    • 145 x 10 (sets superset with pulldowns)
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 10
    • 145 x 10
  • Face Pulls
    • 75 x 15
    • 75 x 15
    • 75 x 15
    • 75 x 12
  • Lateral Raises
    • 15e x 12
    • 15e x 12
    • 15e x 12
    • 15e x 12
  • Lying Triceps Extensions (superset with curls)
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
  • Close-grip EZ-bar Curls
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 12
    • 60 x 9

2016-09-29 training log

Change up.

When I was following a lot of Paul Carter’s philosophy, Paul strongly advocates unilateral work for the lower body, bodyweight, etc.. I hate the stuff, but I cannot deny it’s good for me. Does it help me get bigger and stronger? I can’t say for certain (tho I do get wicked quad pumps from the lunges, split squats, etc.), but I can say for certain it helps things like my knees and ankles. Since I started back on 5/3/1 I’ve been thinking about how to work the unilateral stuff back in, and today I said “fuck it” and did it. I dropped front squats in favor of split squats. These are both feet on the ground, split squatting in place, bodyweight only — get back into it, then start to up the work (more reps, raise the back leg, etc.). Why this? Again, it helps me and has been very good for me, especially towards my overarching “fitness” goals. As for bringing something heavier back in, like front squats or leg presses or something, that’s TBD. I’ve been thinking about some other lower-body switch-up, so, we’ll see what comes of it.

Otherwise, an 80% day. Ending the top set before I want to. Running out of gas (hooray low carb!). But I am seeing the scale number slowly dropping, and some changes in the mirror too. So, onwards. It would be awesome of this rate of loss keeps up (about 2#/week) because I can be done with this sooner rather than later.ūüėČ

BTW, the new Crowbar is awesome. Good lifting music.

My own massing template, based upon 5/3/1 SST and some Paul Carter principles

  • Deadlift
    • 145 x 5
    • 180 x 5
    • 215 x 3
    • 250 x 3
    • 290 x 3
    • 325 x 8
  • Split-Leg Squats
    • BW x 10e
    • BW x 10e
    • BW x 10e
    • BW x 10e
    • BW x 10e
  • Elevated Glute Bridges
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20
  • Twisting Crunches (superset with bridges)
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 20
    • BW x 14
    • BW x 14
  • Seated Calf Raises
    • 35 x 20
    • 35 x 15
    • 35 x 13
    • 35 x 13

Boobs are not a credential

If there’s one thing the Internet has given us, it’s easy access to boobs ‚Äď and I’m not just talking about breasts.

In the past few days, I experienced three specific incidents that motivated me to write.

First, there was a women advocating “unique” shot placement when using a gun in self-defense‚Ķ against a woman: aiming for the pelvis, specifically the uterus. You can read the whole thing here (note: Melody Lauer posted, but it’s not Melody advocating this approach). This is terrible advice on many levels (would require its own article to explain, but thankfully you can read the comments on the original posting). Much of the¬†authority for the argument comes from “being female”.

Second, via Facebook’s “someone you follow was tagged” feature, I came across a woman who takes a popular¬†approach towards gaining “likes” and “followers”: showing her¬†boobs; or at least short-shorts, tank-tops, and ample cleavage with the camera angles just right to titillate¬†the viewer. Oh yes, and guns. In one picture, she stands pulling up her shirt ever so slightly, not just to show off her flat stomach, but also the 1911 she carries appendix style. The caption begins with “I get asked what holster I used to conceal carry”, and goes downhill from there. Not only a poor holster choice, but she also proudly exclaims how she¬†doesn’t carry cocked and locked, but maybe sometimes chambered with the hammer down “if walking in a dark alley”. And she further¬†claims that with “training and¬†situational awareness you can still have plenty of time to draw and shoot”. The post continues on with a mixture of good and bad advice ‚Äď mostly bad. I’m not sure from¬†where she draws her authority, but for sure with thousands of followers, someone is going to listen to her advice.

Third, in a Facebook¬†“discussion” I only saw via screenshot after the fact, a man stated “If you have to shoot, shoot to kill. Dead people can’t take you to court.” This statement was rebutted by none other than Andrew Branca. The original poster then replied telling Andrew that he needed to talk to a lawyer about self defense, that he needed to do some¬†research first, and that he should read self-defense laws. He even suggested the NRA had people Andrew could talk to about this topic. Hrm. I’m not sure where the gentleman received his authority to speak, but maybe he could talk to Andrew.

This isn’t just in the realm of self-defense. Another world I inhabit¬†is fitness: weightlifting, powerlifting, bodybuilding, and such activities. You see it all the time where some “food babe” or dude with “ripped abz” and¬†hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers doles¬†out advice. But upon what authority? What makes them a subject matter expert? Why should people listen to them?

It’s important to vet your sources (including me). There’s nothing wrong with letting people say whatever they want, but YOU¬†need to be pickier about who you listen to and how much weight you give to what they have to say. Why should I listen to this person? What background do they have that makes them an authority and/or subject matter expert (SME)? And does that supposed position actually make the person an SME? For example, many people believe police officers are experts on law and how to shoot, merely because they’re a cop. But¬†the reality is, some are, many aren’t. Vet your sources (including me).

There is nothing wrong with looking at beautiful plumage. We’re animals, and all animals are attracted to beautiful plumage.¬†There are times when plumage is¬†the correct and applicable¬†criterion for the task at hand. But when it comes to matters of your life ‚Äď be it your health¬†or fitness, or what you do in the gym or for self-defense and how to handle a gun ‚Äď please‚Ķ stop looking at the boobs.

2016-09-27 training log

That was good, all things considered.

I’m still working into this adjusted template, but to be expected. I’m reconsidering rep-ranges (e.g. stop working up to 15, go 8-12 on the smaller assistance work), adjusting weights, and so on, but so far so good.

For example, I really dropped the weight on shrugs because I wanted to focus more on getting really good reps and squeezing out all that I can. The more I work with “lighter” weights on back work and really work on moving “from the elbows” (well, with shrugs from the shoulders), I get a LOT out of it. I mean, I used to never feel a pump in my back, but today? Oh yeah. Quality matters.

Anyways, generally felt good with today. Good feedback, will make some minor adjustments.

Weight seems to be progressing downward. Again, hard to tell at this early stage exactly how much, but the scale seems to be providing good feedback, as well as what I see in the mirror. Small stuff, but decent preliminary feedback. I also started to think that so long as I’m on 5/3/1, I MIGHT try something like: when I reset (esp. if I reset everything), those first couple cycles after the reset go with a low-carb cutting (-esque) diet. Then as the weights get heavier, add in the carbs. I wonder how that will work for me. And just cycle like that: as the weights go down, so do the carbs so I can cut a little bit; then as the weights go up, bring up the carbs so I can support the weight increases and build some stuff. Then repeat this. Hrm.

My own massing template, based upon 5/3/1 SST and some Paul Carter principles

  • Bench Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 100 x 5 (warmup sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 125 x 5
    • 150 x 3
    • 175 x 3 (work sets superset with neutral-grip pulldowns)
    • 200 x 3
    • 225 x 8
  • Incline Press
    • 125 x 10 (sets superset with neutral-grip pulldowns)
    • 125 x 10
    • 125 x 10
    • 125 x 10
    • 125 x 10
  • Cable Rows
    • 110 x 15
    • 110 x 15
    • 110 x 12
    • 110 x 12
  • Shrugs
    • 185 x 15
    • 185 x 15
    • 185 x 15
    • 185 x 15
  • Rope-handle pressdowns (superset with curls)
    • 45 x 15
    • 45 x 15
    • 45 x 15
    • 45 x 10
  • Hammer Curls (alternate, across body)
    • 25e x 15
    • 25e x 15
    • 25e x 15
    • 25e x 12

2016-09-26 training log

Oh yeah… low-carb sucks.ūüôā I already knew this; today just adds more proof to the pudding. Mmm…. pudding.

The defluffing continues, so it’s reduced calories (mostly carbs), and lifting more for mass. It’s hard to not push for that rep PR, but that’s the protocol I need to stick to. Today I told myself “get 5”. I got 5, racked it. For sure there was more in me, and I really wanted to push it, but no not the protocol. But again, so long as I’m getting at least the required reps and maybe 1-2 more, I’m good.

Today really emphasized the torso/chest being “full”. Not sure what a good 1-2 word cue is, but it’s being full, arched (not crazy, but certainly not “collapsed”), lats engaged, really having the torso up and strong. Makes a big difference – weights feel lighter.

Everything else, just cranking along. 1 minute or so of rest between all sets (other than squats), just trying to get work in. I am going to work on reducing the reps and upping the weight on some things — trying to get more towards 10-rep range than 15, but whatever works and is more appropriate for the exercise.

Weight’s been in a lot of flux, hard to say exactly where I am. This seems to happen that first 1-2 weeks as things settle in. I suspect I’m down 2-3 pounds, which is a good start. Bottom line is to not really care as much about the scale or the mirror right now: just stay the course, let things settle in, THEN assess. So hopefully in another week I’ll have a better picture of where I’m at.

My own massing template, based upon 5/3/1 SST and some Paul Carter principles

  • Squats
    • bar x whatever
    • 120 x 5
    • 155 x 5
    • 185 x 3
    • 215 x 3
    • 245 x 3
    • 275 x 5
  • Straight-leg Deadlift
    • 175 x 10
    • 175 x 10
    • 175 x 10
    • 175 x 10
    • 175 x 10
  • Leg Curls
    • 30 x 15
    • 30 x 15
    • 30 x 13
    • 30 x 11
  • Hyperextensions (superset with crunches)
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 12
    • BW x 12
  • Crunches
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 15
    • BW x 12
  • Standing Calf Raises
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 12

Sunday Metal – Whitechapel

Another band I’ve only recently started exploring ‚Äď Whitechapel, with “Elitist Ones”

 

AAR: Rangemaster Advanced Instructor Course, September 2016

On September 16-17, 2016 I attended the Rangemaster Advanced Instructor Course, run by Tom Givens, assisted by Lynn Givens, and hosted by Karl Rehn at KR Training.

I passed the class, but am disappointed in my performance.

Background

Rangemaster provides one of ‚Äď if not the ‚Äď best firearms¬†instructor certification course out there. It starts with the 3-day Instructor Development Course, then continues with this 2-day Advanced Instructor Course. Really, the Advanced Course is like days 4 and 5 ‚Äď it’s really “one big course”, but it’s hard to work with 5-days straight: time off work, information overload, physical exhaustion, etc., so it works better to split it up. As well, I think from a practical standpoint it works to split it up:¬†if you’re going to be a firearms instructor, you really need the core Instructor Development Course. Do you NEED the Advanced Course? I would say you don’t NEED it, but you’d be silly not to take it (if you passed the core course, of course) and you’ll be far better off if you do take it.

I took the¬†core course back in 2013, and as soon as I¬†heard Tom was coming to my home range to do Advanced, I signed up. It was originally to happen in 2015 but was rescheduled. I’m glad it happened!

Why take this course? Various reasons. Again, it’s really day 4 and 5 of the Instructor course, so to get the full picture you really need to take the course. It’s another opportunity to train with Tom Givens, and he’s absolutely one¬†trainer that anyone serious about¬†firearms for self-defense needs to train with. I consider him my #2 most¬†influential teacher (Karl Rehn is my #1). I knew there’d be much to learn, and learn I did.

Class Itself

Here’s what’s posted¬†on the Rangemaster website:

The Advanced Instructor Course is the second installment of Rangemaster’s instructor development curriculum. Our Three-Day Firearms Instructor Development and Certification Course packs an incredible amount of information into three full days of training. Since most of our students are there on their own dime and their own time, we hold that course on Friday through Sunday to minimize disruption of their lives. The Advanced Firearms Instructor course picks up where day three of the basic instructor course ends. If we had five full days, the advanced instructor course would be days four and five of the process. By making this a separate course, the students can practice the skills learned, absorb the material covered in the basic instructor course, and be ready to learn a whole new set of skills.

In the Instructor Course, we have already covered the academic side of marksmanship and adult teaching methodology and given the students a thorough grounding in pistol marksmanship. In the advanced class, we push students to even higher skill levels on the range, including firing in low light both with and without a flashlight (if the facility allows). In the classroom we will cover subjects including different scoring methods; target design; course of fire design; instructor liability and how to limit it; and some of the psychological issues involved in teaching people how to fight for their lives.

The advanced course is usually conducted from 9 AM to 6 PM on Friday and Saturday. Students will need about 900 rounds of ammunition. Students receive a comprehensive training manual. We only offer this course once per year, and enrollment is strictly limited to those who have successfully graduated from our basic instructor course.

Note: we did not do any low-light shooting, because of facilities limitations.

The only way you get into this class is if you’ve passed the “basic” Rangemaster¬†Instructor Development Course. If you do have that credential, you ought to have a good idea of what to know and be able to do to perform in¬†the Advanced class. You’ve studied with Tom, you¬†know what he¬†emphasizes, and this is consistent with his outlook and curricula. It’s just tougher. More advanced topics in the classroom, more advanced skills and expectations on the range.

A few things to point out (specific to this class, but applicable to any class).

You will want at least 5 magazines (if shooting a double-stacked¬†modern striker-fired gun; more if a single-stack), more if you can.¬†You’ll want to wear (cargo) pants with deep pockets, to hold extra magazines, to hold loose ammo. You will be working with partial magazines, reloading mags by hand while on the line, no chance to run back to the fumble tables to use your UpLULA to reload.

If your magazines are hard to down-load/strip, keep a couple empties on your person. There will be drills where you’ll do things like “make a 2 round magazine” so ¬†you can shoot to slide-lock then reload.¬†Friend of mine in class had these Wilson Combat 9mm 1911 mags which are great mags, but you just cannot strip them by hand. If you have magazines like this, keep 1-2 dedicated¬†empties.

Make sure you know your gear and that it’s dialed in. So buy your ammo ahead of time, benchrest your gun, and know how it shoots and patterns with that ammo from 0 to 25 yards. Make sure your sights are in good shape. Bring a spare gun in case of breakage, and also ensure it runs well. Make sure the guns are clean, well-lubricated, and ready to go.

We went through maybe 500-600 rounds of ammo. Bring 1000.

Wear sunscreen. Drink LOTS of water. Keep water with you somehow (e.g.¬†Camelback, closable jug¬†to keep behind you on the line) since again you won’t always¬†be able to walk off the line. During my class, temperatures were in the mid-90’s with wicked humidity: we were soaked in sweat and had a few people get woozy. Tom was VERY good about managing things,¬†shooting for a bit then going inside into the air-conditioning for lecture, and alternating range and classroom to keep anything from getting too much. Still, take care of yourself.

Mind your gear. It needs to work, it needs to be reliable. Retention holsters cause hangups. I personally was battling the M&P auto-forward “undocumented feature” ¬†(i.e. “bug”) throughout both¬†days. Many times it would auto-forward and NOT strip a round, causing me problems. Then I just racked it every time, and sometimes would rack out a round and sometimes not. And of course, every time the drill required a specific round count¬†after a¬†reload (e.g. Casino Drill) would be a time a round would properly strip, then¬†I would rack it right¬†out of the chamber (expecting the auto-forward to have failed to strip)¬†and throw off the ability to complete the drill correctly. Ugh. ¬†Oh and what was really fun? On one drill it auto-forwarded and somehow I wound up with a double-feed! That’s a first. I’m actually quite pleased that I instantly recognized it, didn’t get hung up about it, went right to work on clearing it, got back up and running, and managed to finish¬†the string in time! (John Johnston of Ballistic Radio¬†was my partner for that particular drill and witnessed it, even pointing it out to Tom). I’m happy with how I handled the malfunction,¬†but I’m about finally fed-up with this “feature” of the M&P. There was a lot of SIG 320 love going on in class‚Ķ but another discussion for another time.

Electronic muffs are essential.

If it’s going to be hot/sweaty,¬†some way to manage the sweat is useful. That could be headbands or caps, to keep sweat out of your eyes. That might be a towel in your back pocket to wipe your hands down. It might mean something like Liquid Grip to help keep your hands dry. Tom let us shoot most of the drills from open carry, if we wanted to (some drills had to be shot from concealment). I shot from concealment on day 1, then from open on day 2. In my case, having my gun and magazines up against my¬†very sweaty torso just made for a wet gun against my wet hands. So having the tucked-in shirt on day 2 helped keep things dry. If you might be in such a situation, consider wearing some sort of moisture-wicking undershirt. You could even¬†consider an OWB holster (so long as it could still be somewhat concealed when drills require). If in doubt, check with Tom WELL in advance of class.

Can’t hurt to have something to manage wear and blisters on your fingers and hands.

So, that’s about it for some general class things.

In the classroom

The classroom material was good. We each received a binder full of class materials, packed with useful information that you will come back to later on. Just a great reference.

A few things that stood out to me.

Tom spent some time talking about target selection and design, and methods of scoring. While none of this was unfamiliar to me, the way Tom went through it all made me more aware of little details that perhaps get taken for granted. I also appreciated the discussion of Comstock scoring. Usually Comstock is saved for “gaming” and you just don’t see it much in “self-defense” courses of fire ‚Äď they usually use time limits (e.g. “3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds”. But Tom made a great case for using Comstock (and¬†other such scoring systems that measure both accuracy and speed, like Vickers Count) in defensive pistol work, especially when you get to this level of shooting.

There was also a video presentation. It’s something that is so dense with information, delivered so rapidly, you really need to watch it like 4-5 times before it sinks in. I¬†hope there’s some way to get a hold of this video because I would love¬†to watch it 4-5 more times, do you follow? ¬†One thing that really stood out to me was¬†he mentioned there are 3 things we humans deal with: fear, pain, death. That¬†so many people work their whole lives trying to avoid those three things. But if you’re going to be a warrior, you have to work to make those things your friend. There’s really a lot do it, it’s worthy of an article unto itself, and I may write that up later. But just start to roll that concept around in your head.

We also had a special medical presentation by Andy Anderson. It was short and focused on tourniquets. Very cool thing? Andy brought¬†a couple of those finger-tip pulse detectors. The intention was to apply a TQ and register no pulse ‚Äď because then you knew you applied it tight enough.¬†You need more pressure than you think. In fact, when they tried it on me, it was a struggle to cut off my blood flow. I don’t have huge muscular arms, but they have some meat on them, and it required a LOT more tension to shut things off. And yes, it hurt like crazy. Welcome to the TQ reality.

None of the classroom material felt redundant ‚Äď truly an extension of the material already learned in the base Instructor class.

On the range

There’s a lot I could say about this. I’ve been thinking about it ever since class. What I’m going to say is not¬†making excuses, but merely me recording my thoughts. I own my performance.

So I did pass¬†the class, which I’m happy about. But I am not happy about how I performed. I expected more out of myself, especially regarding the stupid mistakes.

Before I go into class, I have to back up.

I’ve been treading water in my performance for some time now. Karl finally kicked my pants enough and over the summer I¬†finally got my USPSA classification (“B” class, Production). I’m happy about that, but it made me realize how much I suck. When I saw what it took just to become “B” class, then you see what it takes to become “A” class, yeah, I suck. But I worked on what was needed to make classification and got it. I’m happy.

As soon as I earned the classification, I changed gears to prep for this Advanced Instructor¬†course. For ages I’ve known that my 15-25 yard shooting sucks, but I always focused on other areas that were of greater importance. But now was the time to focus on 15-25 yards. So I did, and¬†I’ve gotten MUCH better. I’m shooting at 25 yards better than I ever have, and I’m very happy about that. While my 25 yard shooting isn’t awesome, I was making 280+ (out of 300) on the various runs of the Rangemaster Bullseye course (except for the one double-feed run I mentioned above, got a 274¬†on that because rushing from that malfunction), and on many of the drills with 25 yard shooting I was doing well. Again,¬†I’ve still got a long ways to go, but¬†my improvement at 15 and 25 yards was evident to me. So I’m happy about that.

But that’s all I’m happy about.

Basically, I blew the mental game and screwed myself.

Goal? Pass the class. So I told myself during my prep to slow down and get the points. Don’t shoot faster than I can shoot right and well. Generally good advice, but I didn’t apply it well. So say¬†the string is 3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds. I would work to use the whole 3 seconds to ensure I did right and well. Take a little more time to aim, to¬†validate the sight picture, etc. ¬†Not a horrible thing, but it was not the right attitude for me to take. It was a deliberate change to how I shoot, and basically laid the groundwork for me not trusting myself and my abilities.

So I go into class, the pressure is¬†high, and I’m thinking way too much. I’m focusing on the wrong things. And so, I blow it.¬†I really needed to just shut my brain off and “just shoot”. Do what I can do, and let myself just do what I can do. But I focused on too many things that didn’t matter, then would try to focus on some things I needed to focus on, too many things in my head, and things would just fall apart.

I can blame my gear a little bit. My primary gun had been in the shop for months to get some long-overdue TLC, and I got it back 2 days prior to class. I hadn’t had a chance to shoot or test it, so I only brought it in the off-chance my secondary failed. I’ve long known my secondary has a hard¬†trigger break, but supposedly has an Apex DCAEK so I just rolled with it. Well, a couple days after class I put both guns on a¬†trigger pull gauge. The gun I took class with? 7.25# pull. My primary? 5.25#. Heavier plus that hard break, no¬†wonder I’ve developed a hell of a yank!

I’ve been shooting Freedom¬†Munitions 9mm 124gr RN reman (because price). It’s generally been good ammo, but I saw a few weird fliers that made no sense. Karl used the same ammo when he shot the class, and he mentioned the accuracy issues to me as well.¬†Light researching seems to raise enough of an eyebrow regarding this ammo (rather,¬†these particular bullets) and its accuracy at distance. I’ve since purchased a bunch of other ammo (brands, bullet shapes, weights) to¬†explore a bit.

Thing is: while some things could be gear ‚Äď in the end, it’s still my fault. I still own it. Why? Because it was my choice to use the gear I did. Heck,¬†start of day 2 I actually put my original gun in my holster but changed¬†my mind a couple minutes later because the triggers have enough difference in the feel and I didn’t want to risk making that a factor. So in the end, it’s all still my choice, my problems.

But it tells me a few things.

The things that I was working on to get me to “B” class? They are not ingrained yet. I need to work on them more, and shooting drills with a more Comstock-like approach (e.g. Rangemaster Core Skills, or just taking any established COF, figuring out a Comstock par score, and tracking my progress). Time AND accuracy. Push myself, always, and trust myself.

That¬†I do have a decent baseline. I mean, when pressure is on, you don’t rise to the occasion, you descend to some level. It was good to see that my descent¬†is still pretty good. But I can also see how there are things that need more work. Things that need to become my baseline.

That I am going to be doing some gear evaluation.

I feel embarrassed by my performance.

But you know… as the late Pat Rogers said: “Learning occurs only after repetitive demoralizing failures.”

I’ve got work ahead.

Crazy thing is, I was planning for my 2017 training to go in one direction. This makes me think I may need to modify those plans. TBD.

Closing

It was wonderful to see Tom and Lynn again. They are wonderful, genuine people, with an unrivaled passion for teaching. I always look forward to time with them to learn and grow.

If you’ve passed¬†the Rangemaster Instructor¬†Development Course, I highly recommend taking the Advanced Course. You will learn more, be challenged more, and grow more.

2016-09-23 training log

That was acceptable.

For sure, the reduction in carbs is taking hold. I tend to suffer more light-headedness (while Pressing), when I’m lower on carbs, and for sure that was in effect today. No fun. Still, things went ok. For sure, reps are decreasing, and while I expect in part that’s due to the point in the progression, I’m sure the lack of carbs plays a part. But that’s how it goes. So long as in general I’m progressing, it’s OK if things slow down a little bit as I do need to defluff.

My body is happier with the warm-up pulldowns.

Face pulls. I realized I’ve been doing them wrong for ages. I’ve been doing more of a “rear delt row” – overlooking the external shoulder rotation at the top of the movement. So I’m adding that in, because it should be. Started with lighter weight and worked up on it. Man, that’s so much better! My shoulders are going to appreciate that. My shoulders aren’t always happy, and I’ve found when I do work like this it really helps. I have a particular warm-up for my shoulders I do before every workout, and I know it helps (when I don’t do it, my shoulders eventually complain). So things like this should be a boon for me long-term.

Anyways, first week on the adjusted template has been alright. I am going to continue to tweak it. I’m even thinking about some bigger lower-body changes — like dropping some assistance squats in favor of something like lunges. Again, something I hate, but unilateral work has always been good for my knees and everything so….

My own massing template, based upon 5/3/1 SST and some Paul Carter principles

  • Press
    • bar x whatever
    • 70 x 5 (warmup sets superset with band pull-aparts)
    • 85 x 5
    • 100 x 3
    • 110 x 5 (work sets superset with pulldowns)
    • 130 x 5
    • 145 x 8
  • Close-Grip Bench Press
    • 135 x 10 (sets superset with pulldowns)
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
    • 135 x 10
  • Face Pulls
    • 60 x 15
    • 70 x 15
    • 80 x 15
    • 80 x 13
  • Lateral Raises
    • 15e x 15
    • 15e x 15
    • 15e x 12
    • 15e 10
  • Lying Triceps Extensions (superset with curls)
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 12
  • Close-grip EZ-bar Curls
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 15
    • 50 x 12
    • 50 x 11

2016-09-22 training log

One of those days when you don’t want to go, but you go.

Sleep hasn’t been great the past week. Last night compounded it since a close friend came to town and I was up way past my bedtime. So I opted to “jack shit” it and just deadlift (and cardio) and be done. I don’t need to dig my recovery hole any deeper.

Plus, I wonder if the lack of carbs is starting to get to me. I should have been able to crank 10 reps out, but when I got to 8 it was like “enough”. Of course, I am trying to leave a few in the tank, but given I was going to “jack shit” it today I should have done more. Didn’t happen. But of course, it could simply be that things are slowing down. You tend to go 5-8 cycles before needing a reset, so I’d say I’m right on schedule.

One of those days.

That said, I’m starting to wonder about something. I’m finding myself jack-shitting my deadlift days more and more. I need to figure out why. One thought I have is maybe I’ll switch to more “straight days”, where on squat day I squat and deadlift day I deadlift — not mixing the two (e.g. squat and deadlift assistance, deadlift and squat assistance).

We’ll see.

My own massing template, based upon 5/3/1 SST and some Paul Carter principles

  • Deadlift
    • 145 x 5
    • 180 x 5
    • 215 x 3
    • 235 x 5
    • 270 x 5
    • 305 x 8

Sigh

What really bothers me is when outrage is driven by ignorance.

The mode of today: get angry first, get information and facts… maybe later.